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Loading families

From: Up and Running with Revit

Video: Loading families

Walls, doors, and windows are certainly your most basic building blocks and they certainly start to make a layout come together. But there's many other objects that we need to add to our building models in order to complete them. It might be plumbing fixtures. It might be furniture and equipment. Other kinds of doors and windows, columns, you name it. All of these things are possible in Revit. And some of them have their own dedicated tools, and some of them don't. But what they all have in common. Is that each of these elements that we can add to our model are called Families in the Revit environment. So, everything is a family. And a family is just an, a discreet item that you can place in a model. And we have lots of different kinds of families. If the object that you want to place doesn't have it's own dedicated command. In the previous movie, we added doors and windows. And they each had their own tool but furniture and equipment and plumbing fixtures.

Loading families

Walls, doors, and windows are certainly your most basic building blocks and they certainly start to make a layout come together. But there's many other objects that we need to add to our building models in order to complete them. It might be plumbing fixtures. It might be furniture and equipment. Other kinds of doors and windows, columns, you name it. All of these things are possible in Revit. And some of them have their own dedicated tools, and some of them don't. But what they all have in common. Is that each of these elements that we can add to our model are called Families in the Revit environment. So, everything is a family. And a family is just an, a discreet item that you can place in a model. And we have lots of different kinds of families. If the object that you want to place doesn't have it's own dedicated command. In the previous movie, we added doors and windows. And they each had their own tool but furniture and equipment and plumbing fixtures.

They don't all have their own tool. What we use instead is this Component tool. So, a very generic way to refer to just any kind of family is to just simply say you're going to place a component in your model. Let's start with that. I'm going to click the component tool. And here on the list you'll see the components that are already pre-loaded in my project. Now, my toilet room areas need some plumbing fixtures, so why don't we start with that. So I'm going to come over here and zoom in on the toilet room areas here just rolling the wheel and I've got this single sink here in my model. Now, it's a sink kitchen so it's a kitchen sink, but for the time being at the stage I'm at in this project, I'm really more interested in just a sink symbol. And we can swap out a more specific one later when we've chosen the actual unit that we're going to specify.

So for now I'm just going to use this default one. And bring it into these toilet rooms. Now, you can see it's pointing the wrong way. Like we've seen with other objects, if you tap the space bar, it will actually change the orientation. So we can rotate in 90 degree implements by just simply tapping space. So I'm going to place one of those sinks right about here. And another one right about there. Open up the list again, and choose a toilet this time. Now, this one you'll notice will not place free-standing, so this toilet is actually fairly similar to the doors and windows that we saw in the previous movie. The symbol will not appear until I highlight an eligible host. Which is what I'm going to do right there.

So I'll go ahead and place that in. And I'll place another one right here. Now let me stop there for a moment. Let's click cancel. Because these things are placed kind of randomly. And just like we saw with other objects, when you select them, you're going to see temporary dimensions appear on your screen. Now, we talked about these little witness scripts in a previous movie. Let's talk about them again here. I want to measure this toilet one foot six off the face of that wall not the center of the wall. So you can drag this little dot like we did in the previous movie but you could also just click it. When you click it, it will actually jump to the phases and then back to the center, each time you click, it they will cycle to a new location. Let me change this dimension to 1 foot 6, we do the same thing over here click it. See how it went to the outside? I will click it again it goes to the inside, 1 foot 6.

And now, those toilets are placed in the correct location. We could do the same thing with the sinks, let's zoom out a little bit. We do have a dedicated Column tool. You have structural and architectural, but for this example, I'm just going to stick with the architectural. And the default is a square column, which might work well in these locations, and you'll see that the column does a really nice job of kind of merging into the surrounding geometry. But if you want a different shape column, what you'll see is. There isn't another shape here on the list. So in that case, what we need to do is load a Family. The process we're going to use to load families is going to be similar regardless of the kind of family.

So let's look at it here for our column first and then we can repeat it for some other types of objects. Most of these elements that are eligible for Load Family will have their own dedicated Load Family button right here on the ribbon. So all you have to do is click that. And that will take you out to a browse window, and it will go to whatever library is loaded as the default for your system. In my case, that's the US Imperial Library. I'm going to go to the columns folder here. Double-click that, and I'm going to select this metal-clad column right here. It's a slightly more interesting round shaped column. I'll click Open.

And now, you can see that I get that slightly more decorative column. And I'll place that in a few locations here in my plan. Now, that same basic process could work for any kind of family. Let's say that we wanted to start putting some tables here in our restaurant space. Well, we can load a furniture family. Now, there isn't a furniture button here. We would go to the Component button, and just like we just did for column, we would come over here to Load Family, double-click the Furniture folder.

Now, this folder is subdivided into subfolders, so I'm going to go to the Tables folder. And I'm actually going to bring in two different tables this time. This one here is a round table that includes the chairs, and I'm also going to bring in this rectangular table. So, if I select it, you could see what it looks like. If I want to select both, I can hold the Ctrl key down and click on both of them. So they're both highlighted I'll click Open, and now you'll see that there's the rectangular table. I've got a 72 by 30 inch size.

There's other sizes. Here's the round table. So over here we're going to do some booths. We'll do the rectangular table in that location. An then over here, we might want to do, some tables with four chairs. Or some tables with six chairs. And I'm just placing one of each. Because once we've got one of each placed, we can then go and use the copy command to make multiple copies. So, to remind you how that works, I'll simply select my table with four chairs. That will take me to the Modify tab.

Here's my Copy button. And before I start to click my points this time, I'm going to check this box right there, which is multiple copy. Now, I can pick my base point, and then place a new one, and a new one, and a new one, and so on. And if you want to do that a little bit more precisely, just make sure that when you pick your new point, type in something. So I can type in 8 feet and now, those copies are exactly 8 feet apart. You can place the by eye or you can do them precisely. So let's bring in one more family.

Now, this family is actually a custom family that I built. So despite the fact that you have lots of resources available to you in that specific folder. There's going to come a time when that specific folder is not going to be there. You can search online or you can even build it yourself and that's what I've done in this case so I'm going to go to the component tool, click Load Family. So in the Exercise Files folder, I have this Booth Seating family. I'm going to open that up. And you can that it comes in different sizes, so we can do a short one or a long one. I'm going to try and match the length of that table that I have right here. Do a 60-inch size, apparently, I need a slightly smaller table. I'll fix that later, and there it is.

Now, I want one on the other side of that table. I can select it and use this command right here, Mirror Pick Axis. Now, what's really neat about most families is most of them have a centerline. So I can very easily highlight the centerline of this table. And I can mirror it to the other side. Once you have that, you can actually select all three of these, and start to copy them. Now, a fast way to select all three is to click next to them. Hold your mouse down, and drag with this dashed line box. And you see that box.

Anything that box touches will be selected. And I can select all three of those items. An then go to Copy, an make my multiple copies. Now, if you want to learn how to build your own custom families, we have resources for that here at lynda.com. We talk about it a little bit in the essential training course, an then we have an entire course devoted to the family editor that you can check out as well. Let's take a look at how things are shaping up in 3D. Let's click our default 3D View icon and you can kind of see a little peek of the table there through the window. But why don't we hold down the Shift key and drag with the wheel. To kind of tip the model down so that we can look inside. So there's our decorative column, here's our table and chairs, and here's our two booths with their table.

You can continue copying and adding additional components to begin flushing out the layout here. So using the same process, you can load in additional families, including doors and windows, and refine the layout of your building.

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Up and Running with Revit

34 video lessons · 6806 viewers

Paul F. Aubin
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